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Female consumers are a powerful force that shape how billions of marketing dollars are spent yearly, and among the most important brands for women are Wal-Mart, Target, and eBay, according to the Women at NBCU Brand Power Index, which measures the top 25 brands most important to women.

The September 2010 Index ranks the top 25 most important brands for women:

Bayer was among the biggest movers during the month, jumping from its August ranking of 381 to 140 in September, up 241 spots. Bayer's popular "One A Day" digital and social media ad campaign offers female consumers an immersive, customized social experience to benefit their overall health and wellness.

"It is amazing to see how quickly a brand's energy can be elevated by marketing and promotional strategies—even in just a month," said Tony Cardinale, SVP of Strategic Research Insights for NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks. "Social media campaigns continue to spark a lot of dialogue and move the needle, and television remains a powerful influence."

Brands with exposure during the launch of the broadcast TV season were some of the biggest movers in September:

  • Dr. Pepper was one of the biggest gainers (helped by a high-profile mention on Fox's Glee) moving up 19 spots, from 83 in August, to 62 in September.
  • Sears, which sponsors CBS's Survivor: Nicaragua, was up 5 spots from 19 to 14.
  • Netflix, which expanded its streaming partnership with NBCU late in the month, was up 2 spots, from 20 to 18.

Video game systems, which are not usually big brands for women, gained traction in September. The release of "PlayStation Move" for Sony Playstation 3 drove the PlayStation 3 brand up from 304 to 150. This also may have led to more discussion around its competitor, the Nintendo Wii, which moved 11 spots from 78 to 67.

Other big movers this month were brands that offered fun campaigns directed at children and teens:

  • Applebee's, which offered a "kids eat free" promotion at select locations on Labor Day, was up 81 spots from 167 in August, to 86 in September.
  • LG, which hosted its annual National Texting Championship aimed at teens, was up 65 spots from 153 to 88. 
  • Campbell's Soup, targeting younger consumers with its Facebook Soup Scan Sweepstakes, was up 37 spots from 121 to 84.

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Brand Conversations

Female consumers talk about brands constantly—roughly 92 per week, according to separate research from NBCU and Keller Fay.

Moreover, women trust other women to recommend products over all other forms of media, according to the study. Over six in ten surveyed women (61%) say what they hear from other women is credible and believable, and 51% would buy something based on a conversation.

About the data: Sponsored by NBC Universal, The NBCU Brand Power Index of 500 brands is based on a compilation of September 2010 online search data from Compete (using six top search sites), social media buzz data from New Media Strategies (aggregated brand mentions among the top 100 social media sites targeting women), as well as person-to-person conversations tracked by Keller Fay.

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